The sport of eventing is steeped in over a century of history, and has given us a lot of memorable moments along the way. Before we head back for our 13th year running Belton, we thought we’d bring you some facts you may not know about our much-loved sport.
- The first Eventing competition to resemble the current sport was held in France in 1902
- Eventing then became an Olympic sport in 1912.
- The first Olympic event was devised by Count Clarence von Rosen, Master of the Horse to the King of Sweden, but it was originally only open to male military officers.
- Britain has become one of the most successful nations in the Olympic history of the sport. As a nation, we have won more than 270 medals in 99 years of Olympic, World and European competition.
- Females were not allowed to compete in Eventing at the Olympics until the 1964 Tokyo Games. Now, some of the best-known names in the sport are women.
- New Zealander Mark Todd is currently the oldest rider to win a 4*. In 2011, aged 55, he won Badminton CCI4* with horse Landvision. He also won the Grantham Cup in 2014.
- China didn’t compete in Eventing at the Olympics until Beijing 2008, where Alex Hua Tian placed 8th.
- Australian Lucinda Fredericks is currently the only rider in Eventing history to win the Rolex CCI4*, Badminton CCI4* and Burghley CCI4* on the same horse – she won all three with Headley Britania.
- The maximum drop height allowed on cross-country at 3* and 4* level is two metres (around 6ft6) – the same height as famous basketball player Michael Jordan.
- It’s now been over 20 years since a thoroughbred horse earned an individual gold in the Olympics. Thoroughbred Reddy Teddy, ridden by Blyth Tait, won at the 1996 Atlanta Games, and are the last riders to do so.
They say you learn something new every day – and we hope you’ve upped your equestrian knowledge! Put it into practice at Belton, tickets available now starting at £5 for children and £12 for adults.